Victoria Royals athletic therapist Khore Elliott will fulfill the same role for Team Canada and the 2019 World Junior tournament hosted between Vancouver and Victoria. Travis Paterson/News Staff

World Juniors ‘as big as it gets’ for WHL Royals trainer

Elliott working for Team Canada for tourney in Vancouver and Victoria

One does not merely walk into Hockey Canada as a member of the world junior team staff.

It takes years, starting with the development programs, where you learn the system and gain the trust of the top brass. Some will apply and never get a sniff.

For Khore Elliott, the Victoria Royals athletic therapist, the call up to the big time has come. Elliott’s been appointed the athletic therapist for Team Canada at the 2019 world juniors, which takes place in Vancouver and Victoria, Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. This week Elliott was with Team Canada in Kamloops for the Sport Chek World Junior Showcase that ends Saturday.

The Kamloops Showcase is a chance for about 25-30 bubble players to fight for the final 10 spots on Team Canada, which will attempt to defend its 2018 gold medal in December. It’s also a chance for the team staff, such as Elliott, to become familiar with each other, head coach Tim Hunter, and the players. The players will also get used to Elliott, as the consummate professional will be handling their injuries small and large.

“This is it, this is as high a level you can reach with junior,” said Elliott, brimming with enthusiasm on a warm July afternoon. “I’m pretty jacked up. I’m honoured, and I’m privileged. A lot of people apply and don’t get to go.”

One thing that’s nice about international tournaments is everyone comes in healthy, said Elliott.

“You’re not babysitting anyone at this level,” he said. “Most of them have been through Hockey Canada at some point. They’ve faced adversity to get here. It’s going to be cool just to be a part of it, it’s a brand new experience but I know the expectations and I don’t feel any added pressure.”

One thing about Elliott, he’ll come across as a cut and dry hockey man. But if you’re not ready, he’ll pull the rug out from underneath you. He can, and will, catch unsuspecting victims with a mean deadpan.

“I try to keep it loose. There will be a lot to learn with how I’ll work with Tim Hunter and the staff,” Elliott said. “I had a tremendous relationship with [Dave Lowry] and now I have a great one with [Dan Price]. I’ve heard Hunter is great to work with. There’s a lot of trust between the coach and me.”

Following the Showcase life will return to normal (as normal as can be for a 38 year old who spends more time at the rink than anywhere else) in mid August when the Royals’ prospects come for camp. That bleeds into main camp, the preseason, and then the grind of the WHL regular season.

“Last year was the most travel I’ve ever experienced, the most difficult year for travel so far,” Elliott said.

The shining light, another promising year working with the returning Royals’ talent, and a chance to help Team Canada win gold at the world juniors, starting with a pair of exhibition games in Victoria. Team Canada will hold a final training camp at The Q Centre starting Dec. 10 followed by a pair of to-be-determined exhibition matches at Save On Foods Memorial Centre. Those will be before Christmas as the tournament starts Dec. 26.

“To be on Team Canada here in Victoria, with my family in the stands, it will be amazing,” said Elliott, raised in the Comox Valley.

Elliott joined the Salmon Kings in 2009 and has been the Victoria Royals athletic therapist since the team arrived from Chilliwack in 2012. It wasn’t long after that he started with Hockey Canada, working two summers in the U17 national tournament, then two more international tournaments with Team Canada at the U18 Ivan Hlinka. In total, he’s worked four of the last five years with Hockey Canada with a goal of joining Team Canada for the U20 IIHF World Juniors.

“I’ve been through the ranks, I’ve done what I was asked,” Elliott smiled. “Getting to the world juniors was my five year plan when I started with the Royals. This is my fifth time in six years, this is such a privilege.”

As reigning champs, Team Canada won the rights to use the Canucks’ dressing room as theirs for the entirety of the tournament. As silver medalists, Sweden will use the Royals’ dressing room based here in Victoria.

At this week’s World Junior Showcase in Kamloops, Canada, like the U.S., have brought a long list of 39 players. The two countries start the tournament Tuesday in a pair of split-squad games against each other. Canada will resume play with a focused roster Thursday, Friday and Saturday against Finland, Sweden and the U.S.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

IIHF world junior hockey

Just Posted

The 21st annual Japanese Cultural Fair streams online Oct. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. (Facebook/Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society)
Esquimalt’s Japanese Cultural Fair takes tastes, experiences and cultures online

21st annual free event streams Saturday, Oct. 24 starting at noon

Kwick’kanum (Eric Pelkey), a hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed the crowd that gathered at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights

Supporters call on government to recognize Indigenous treaty rights

The Baynes Sound Connector cable ferry. Black Press file photo
Baynes Sound Connector delayed due to emergency call

Paddleboarder was in distress near Union Bay Thursday

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read